By Jerry Pournelle
A few days it simply did not pay to be a soldier. Captain Rick Galloway and his males have been talked into volunteering for a deadly challenge -only to be ruthlessly deserted whilst faceless CIA higher-ups pulled the plug at the operation. They have been bring to an end in antagonistic territory, with neighborhood troops and their Cuban "advisors" quickly last in. after which the alien spaceship landed...
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He indicated chairs, both of aluminum and plastic, one a normal-height chair, the other like a highchair for an adult. ” Now there’s an understatement, Rick thought. “Yes. ” The man nodded, tight-lipped, again his expression more of impatience and mild annoyance than anything else. “You would find my name hard to pronounce. Try ‘Agzaral,’ which is close enough not to offend me. I am—you do not have the occupation. Think of me as a police inspector. It is close enough for our purposes. ” Rick took the normal chair.
It spoke again. “You may leave your weapons outside. You will not need them, and they might tempt you to rash actions. ” That, Rick thought, was for sure. This thing— whatever it was—couldn’t be worse than the Cubans. He unslung his rifle and laid it on the ground. Mason did the same, but threw him a significant look. Rick nodded. 45 automatic pistol under his jacket. He was certain that Mason had another. The opening was inconveniently high off the ground, above waist level. “No gangplank for us,” Rick told Mason.
We regret that we do not have better accommodations. You are welcome to whatever you find there. You may eat now. ” Rick demanded. He was talking to a blank screen. They examined their prison. There was a hot plate and an electrical outlet on a long cord. The wire ran into the wall, and the hole it came out of was sealed with the wet-suit material. The hot plate had been made by General Electric. The coffeepot was Japanese, with Japanese labels. Everything in the compartment had come from Earth.